The GATE entrance exam is an important milestone in your career. Your success in GATE depends a great deal on your selection of the right online coaching institute.
Here is a list of questions that will help you immensely in selecting the best coaching institute for your GATE online preparation.
1. Does the coaching institute provide video lectures?
This is perhaps the most critical factor that you need to consider while selecting an online coaching institute. If the coaching institute just provides a lot of course material in the form of books and written study material, then it defeats the purpose of an online course. It could just as well be a correspondence course.
Explaining complicated engineering concepts through books and written study material can be an inefficient and inappropriate method of teaching.
What you need is a coaching class that explains concepts in the form of video lectures. Again, look for a coaching class where the course material in video format is custom-made and not just a video taken of a classroom lecture. In a classroom lecture, there would be a lot of interruptions in the form of students asking questions or when the instructor is taking time to erase the board and most of the time the teacher’s back is facing the camera. Also, many times the sound of a video recording of a classroom lecture is of poor quality.
A genuine and serious online coaching institute should provide lectures that are custom-made and only for that purpose. You should also check if both the sound and the visual quality of the videos are top-notch enabling you to learn in complete ease and comfort.
Thus, in order to come to an informed decision, you should ask the coaching institute for a sample of a video recording of a lecture.
2. What is the Faculty profile?
You need to check the pedigree and the background of the instructors teaching the courses: The quality and standard of the video lectures are as good or as bad as the instructor teaching the course. As the GATE entrance exam is considered a premium entrance test taken after graduation, it is imperative that the instructors are from first-class institutes like the IITs or IISc. It would also be an advantage to have a person who has vast industry experience and has an excellent perspective of the industry. Such a person would be a great instructor. In addition, also consider the teaching style of the instructor. If you learn from the best then you can grasp fundamentals and concepts very easily.
You can also ask for lecture samples of the instructors—a good coaching institute would be forthcoming and would provide lecture samples without any hesitation.
Now, here is a sample of ideal video instruction:
- The trainer has done his MTech from IIT Roorkee
- It is custom-made for GATE entrance
- High production value—superior sound and visual quality
- Since it is custom-made, actions like erasing the board have been deleted.
3. What are the various modes of viewing the course material?
You need to check whether the course material can be viewed on a mobile or a desktop or a tablet or even on a pen drive. If a coaching institute is providing material on all these platforms, then rest assured that they have been around for a while and are not newbies. They are experts in the field and have the technology that is required to support coaching.
It also means that they are established and are able to serve students in remote locations that have limited network access.
Examining the above-mentioned modes is a good indicator for gauging the trustworthiness of the coaching institute.
4. Does the institute provide additional support when I seek clarification?
Apart from the course material, in many instances, when you are studying on your own, you need to get your doubts cleared through discussions, one-on-one interactions with the instructors, live chat support, or through video lectures on any particular topic that you find challenging.
A good coaching institute will provide all of the above.
So, do check on the additional support that is offered by the institute.
5. If I need hand-holding, then can the institute help me and how?
Does the coaching institute provide a personal mentor? A personal mentor can help you draw out a study plan, provide remedial teaching on weak topics, and can give a very detailed feedback analysis on your performance in regular tests and mock GATE entrance tests. A personal mentor can improve a student’s score dramatically and also help keep up his/her morale.
A coaching institute that has the student’s success in mind will certainly provide the option of a personal mentor. Unfortunately, currently, there are not too many online or offline coaching institutes that offer this benefit.
6. Does the course include practice tests and how are they conducted?
An indicator of a good coaching class is that it should provide enough questions and practice tests in its course material. Again, this should not come at an additional cost but is included in the coaching material. A genuine coaching institute will never charge you extra for this.
You also need to check as to how the tests are conducted: Is there an online portal that provides results on the tests in real-time?
7. Are you falling prey to the pricing trap?
A reasonable price range for a GATE course is 12,000 INR to 25,000 INR, where INR 12,000 is for the basic course while INR 25,000 is for the basic and the add-ons.
If the amount charged is between INR 6,000 to INR 7,000, then do ask for the course material. Are they just providing a very expensive book? And, do check out the other features offered by them.
On the other hand, if it is above INR 25,000, then it is unreasonable.
8. Can the coaching institute provide testimonials?
You need to check for genuine testimonials from students who have achieved success in the GATE entrance. Do not ask for the top 100 student testimonials, instead insist that the coaching institute provide you with genuine testimonials. A good institute will always be forthcoming with this information and will provide it to you readily.
Hopefully, these questions should help you in arriving at the correct decision in your selection of the best online coaching institute.
Wishing you all the best in your preparation for the GATE Entrance exam.